The 4x optical zoom lens on the Canon PowerShot G1X was specially designed for the camera's extra large sensor, and to make the HS system even better. With a 35mm equivalent of 28-112mm, the lens offers a great range for travel and some portrait photography. It also allows Canon to give the lens a max. aperture of f/2.8 at the wide end, providing excellent low-light image quality. Keeping your images clear and sharp in all shooting conditions is Canon's Optical Image Stabilization technology combined with the Intelligent IS system. This detects what the camera is doing, as well as what your subject is doing and adjusts the camera and OIS for it.
Also helping with the low-light and all around performance is the HS system, made up of the incredibly large, 1.5-inch, 14.3-Meagpixel CMOS imaging sensor, which is almost the same size as the APS-C sensor that they use in there EOS dSLR line. It is over 6x larger that the sensor used in the PowerShot G12. This allows each pixel to have a larger surface area to capture more light and greatly improve image quality. The other half of the HS system is the new DIGIC 5 image processor, with increased power. This gives you faster burst shooting and better scene and special modes that rely on the camera's ability to function quickly.
The G1X offers a TTL Contrast Detection AF system with modes for single, tracking, face and continuous AF. Canon's FlexiZone AF Frame allows you to move the focusing frame, guaranteeing that your subject is in focus no matter where they are in the frame. Manual focus is also ac option for those who want total control or are looking your creative and special shooting.
- Normal: 1.3 ft. (40cm) - infinity (W), 4.3 ft. (1.3m) - infinity (T)
- Auto: 7.9 in. (20cm) - infinity (W), 2.8 ft. (85cm) - infinity (T)
- Macro: 7.9 in. - 2.3 ft. (20-70cm) (W), 2.8 ft. - 5.2 ft. (85cm - 1.6m) (T)
Canon has included a decent pop-up flash unit on the left side of the camera. It has a range of up to approx. 23ft. (W). This will work pretty well when you are trying to travel light or just need a little fill light. If you are looking at shooting in low-light with a flash, the camera will also accept any and all of Canon's optional Speedlite Flash units thanks to the built-in hot shoe; giving you the ability to have as much flash power as you can get.
Framing your images can be done with the camera's optical viewfinder with dioptric adjustment. This allows you to shoot just as you would with a dSLR and is also a great way to save some battery life on a long trip. One each side you can also see the Shortcut/Direct print and Playback buttons.
Your other option for framing and viewing your images is the 3.0-inch, 922,000 dot Vari-Angle LCD screen. The screen turns 175° and rotates 270° making sure you are always able to easily compose your images. It even allows you to compose self portraits and group images with you in them. The incredibly high resolution gives a great amount of detail. The camera even has a built-in electronic level that you can display on the LCD screen to make sure you always capture a level shot.
On top of the camera you will find the Power button, shutter release with the zoom control coupled around it and set of stacked dials. The camera's mode dial is on top of the exposure compensation dial. Both dials are very stiff, to make sure that you do not accidentally turn one while you are turning the other. The exposure compensation dial gives you the option for ±3 stops in 1/3 increments.
Controls on the back: at the upper right is the new dedicated video recording button, which allows you to record video in any shooting mode. Next is the AF Frame (image Delete in playback) and AE/FE lock button. The 4-way controller lets you navigate menus and select files during playback, the FUNC/SET button accepts menu selections. It also gives you access to the Function shortcut menu, which has many settings. In record mode you press "Up" to adjust the ISO setting, "Right" to toggle the flash mode, "Down" to change the Display options, and "Left" to enable Macro or Manual focus modes. Mounted around the 4-way controller is the Control dial, which allows you to quickly navigate the menu, set aperture and shutter speed values, use Program Shift, etc. At the bottom you will find the metering mode button and the MENU button, which calls up and dismisses the menu screens.
The I/O ports:
At the top is the a combination port that handles both the standard definition Audio/Video output as well as USB 2.0 (high-speed) connectivity to a computer for downloading files or Direct printing to any PictBridge compatible printer. The operation of this port is determined by which of the supplied cables you insert into it.
Next we have the Remote Terminal port, which accepts the optional Remote Switch RS60-E3, allowing you to release the shutter button without touching the camera.
At the bottom you can see the HDMI output port, which when used with the optional HTC-100 HDMI cable, allows you to connect your G1X to a HDTV set (you can also use the supplied cables to connect to a HDTV at standard definition resolution).
Your captured images will be stored on an optional (but required) SD/SDHC/SDXC style memory card. With the G1X's resolution, extreme burst rates and full 1080p HD video capture, you will want to use the fastest card available. The camera is shown here with a PNY Pro Class 10, 8GB SDHC memory card.
Powering the G1X is a 7.4V, 920mAh rechargeable Li-Ion battery. Canon claims that the camera is capable of capturing up to 250 images with the LCD screen on or up to 700 images if you only use the optical viewfinder on a single charge of this battery. The portable quick charger (CB-2LC) is also included to keep your battery, and a spare charged and on hand at all times.